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SC April unemployment rate drops, wages rise

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point from March’s 3.4% to...
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point from March’s 3.4% to 3.3, the Department of Employment and Workforce said. New figures state the number of people getting jobs rose by 9,017 last month and the total number of unemployed workers in the state fell by 1,571.(AP)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:34 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina employment officials said Thursday the state’s unemployment rate for the month of April continued a modest downward trend.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point from March’s 3.4% to 3.3, the Department of Employment and Workforce said. New figures state the number of people getting jobs rose by 9,017 last month and the total number of unemployed workers in the state fell by 1,571.

“In addition, wages continue to grow. In the past year, wages in South Carolina have risen 4.38%, from $26.70 in April 2021 to $27.87 in April 2022,” SCDEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said. “Some of this increase is due to movement between industries. As individuals leave lower-paying jobs for work in manufacturing, for instance, that leaves more openings which create competition for workers and compels the lower-paying jobs to increase wages in order to attract job seekers.”

He said the number one challenge employers face remains being able to find enough workers. But he said the second-biggest challenge is that young people who are entering the workforce lack adequate “soft skills.”

“Our agency recognizes that predicament and we offer programs to teach individuals soft skills. We are also leading an initiative to come up with a statewide soft skills certification,” Ellzey said.

Soft skills typically include traits like communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.

“As we head into the summer months, seasonal and part-time jobs will be on the rise. In addition to the much-needed retail and hospitality work, we will also see an increased opportunity for jobs at water parks, theme parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, YMCAs, and entry-level manufacturing work,” Ellzey said. “It is a great time for young people to build their soft skills to better prepare for success when they enter the workforce.”

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